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Cheap Wedding = Happy Marriage?

Thanks, in part, to television and movies, many people associate the start of a marriage with a big, expensive, over the top wedding.  In fact, many women have probably been dreaming of their perfect, fantasy wedding for years before they find the perfect groom. If you are one of these women, would you trade your dream wedding for a better chance of marital success?

 A recent study by Emory University professors found that couples who forgo the expensive wedding for a less expensive, low-key affair tend to have longer-lasting marriages than their counterparts who choose to splurge on the wedding. Want a happy marriage? Have a big, cheap wedding, by Brandon Griggs, CNN, October 13, 2014. The study, which examined “the correlation between wedding expenses and the length of marriages,” surveyed 3,151 people who we married, or had previously been married. In addition to finding that a less expensive marriage equated to a lower divorce rate, the study also found a similar correlation between less expensive engagement rings and lower divorce rates. So, overall, lower wedding-associated expenses seem to result in lower divorce rates.

 This does not mean, however, that you should necessarily scrap the big wedding for a trip to the courthouse with just you and your spouse. The study also found that “the greater the number of people who attend a wedding, the lower the rate of divorce.” Thus, it appears that a big party with friends and family celebrating your marriage may be the way to go – without all the expensive frills.  Though the study did not examine the reasons behind its findings, it could be that those couples who focus on their excitement over the marriage itself and sharing that excitement with loved ones rather than focusing on coordinating an expensive band, dress and food may have their marital priorities in a better place. In addition, if both spouses are on the same page about wedding expenses, their priorities are likely in line and they are starting out with a great foundation for marriage…and a little less of a financial burden.


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